You know that saying ‘strike while the iron is hot’ ? Well, that is a commonly used phrase amongst corporations, businesses and sales cultures. The wishful thinking is that deals should be closed on site, but realistically it’s a hand shake, and an agreement to do business together in the near future.
Let’s say you have met a professional contact whom you connect with and business synergies exist, you establish rapport, and have a great conversation: You move forward and set up a date for a formal follow up and meeting within the coming weeks. Then the day finally comes, and they cancel! Really?? Why?!
Why is it that entrepreneur’s and business owners alike cancel sales appointments, strategic meetings and brainstorming sessions with new clients or prospects? I can honestly say as my time as a banker I never cancelled a client meeting, I may have been late (which is for another conversation) but I never cancelled. On the flip side, the times clients called me to reschedule and or cancel on me were many. Now that I am self employed I have found that cancellations, and very last minute ones seem to be quite the norm. I admit their impact on me is far different now than it was before.
Now, the first, and most important thing to remember when dealing with a sell-out is to not get upset and assume the worst. Don’t think that your client is not interested in what you have to offer, just try to reschedule as quickly as possible so you can move forward with your business plans. Take it in stride, Emergencies really do happen, it’s life.
Although you now have some time to think. Perhaps you should evaluate if this cancelled meeting is worth rescheduling. Think about how valuable this person is and what they will do for you, or show you? What is the value added to you and your business? After you think these through, you may realize you should have never made that appointment in the first place, and those mistakes happen too. But-you may realize, that this person is absolutely worth your time, and you genuinely want to reschedule right away.
Think clearly before you cancel a client or prospect, and take caution and consideration before you make that call- Here are a few reasons why:
1. You never get a second chance to make a first impression!
People will always remember the first interaction they had with you, and they will certainly remember you calling them to cancel 1 hour before your scheduled meeting.
2. You look Unprofessional!
Sad, but true. You reflect poor time management skills, and no one likes to do business with a person who does not know how to plan. When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
3. You just told me I don’t matter!
In other words, your cancellation just said, my time is not important to you, and that perhaps you will do the same in the future or worse. You seem to discard the importance I have to you and your business.
4. If you really must cancel, give 24 hours notice!
We all know life is full of ups and downs, and we can’t predict every moment of our lives, but whenever possible, Try your best to give 24 hour notice. This will allow time to make a new appointment with another client to fill your spot. Time is Money!
If you are lucky enough to be rescheduled after a cancellation, You want to ensure that both parties make up for lost time, and maximize your meeting. Most important, always try to have a good attitude about things, and go with the flow; Because at the end of the sales day, even the most notorious sell-outs will eventually make the time; and they will come and find you.